The Yale men’s hockey team unveiled its 2017-18 schedule on July 7. Down The Field highlights five of the can’t-miss contests of the upcoming season.
The Bulldogs’ opening home-and-home series against the Bears, which has for the past few years taken place in January, instead kicks off before Halloween.
For those of you who are missing hockey, it’s the perfect opening game. Fans shouldn’t expect any spooky surprises — the Bears limped to a 4-25-2 record last season and fell to Yale 4-1 last time the teams met in the Whale.
With the Yale football team hosting Harvard at 12:30 p.m. for the 134th rendition of The Game, Yale fans had already circled Nov. 18 on their calendar. But the hockey schedule release made the Saturday before Thanksgiving the premiere day on the 2017–18 season.
At 7 p.m. that night, just a few hours after The Game wraps up, the men’s hockey team travels to crosstown rival Quinnipiac. TD Bank Sports Center, the Bobcats home in Hamden, is just an 18-minute, $20 Uber ride from Payne Whitney. If Quinnipiac students can make the trek down to Toads (which you know they will be making that Saturday night), there’s no excuse for not taking your Harvard friends up to Hamden for the nightcap.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way of to celebrate a Yale victory over the Crimson.
Arizona State (2/2-3)
A season removed from their NCAA Division I debut, the conference-less Sun Devils travel to Connecticut for a Groundhog Day matchup. The non-conference matchup — a first for the Bulldogs — should be a good series, but Down The Field is also looking forward to seeing the puns our fellow students can make on the word ‘Arizona.’
World-class pizza and great collegiate hockey are just a couple of the many attractions of the Elm City. New Haven’s two national powerhouses will face off for the second time on Feb. 9 at Ingalls Rink. There’s a good reason this game sells out days in advance.
Yale and Quinnipiac met in the 2013 NCAA championship game just four years ago. The Bulldogs prevailed 4–0 to clinch the 2013 title, but only the Bobcats have returned to the Frozen Four since then. Still, Yale got the better of Quinnipiac in the two meetings last year, as the Bobcats grinded through a rebuilding year after their 2016 run deep into the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs won last season’s contests 5–2 and 3–2.
The Bulldogs were winless in their four games against the Crimson in 2016–17, when Harvard cruised through the ECAC on the way to a conference championship and Frozen Four appearance. But the Crimson lose four of their top five goal scorers from last year, opening the door for Yale to return to its winning ways.
The Feb. 24 contest will conclude the regular season. Though the Elis could host several games in the ECAC Tournament, captain Ryan Hitchcock ’18 and the rest of the senior class will look to end their collegiate careers on the right note with a win at the Whale against the Crimson.